Marcus on his first flight with Ryanair.

We spoke to recent FTA graduate, Marcus Brenchly, about his role as a First Officer at Ryanair, the application process that he went through and his aviation career goals

Why did you train to be a pilot? 

I have always loved flying and aviation in general. I have been surrounded by family members who are pilots, both grandfathers were in the RAF and an uncle from my mother’s side and my father both fly commercially. Its safe to say the bug has been passed on!

How did you go about choosing a flying school and what aspects were important to you? 

I researched online the different schools in the UK and went for a couple of open days to start with. These open days helped clarify the different aspects of modular vs integrated. What was important to me was that the standard of training was high and that wherever I went the result would be the same as the other flying schools. Cost is an obvious factor and as soon as I had the first two boxes ticked I looked at this aspect. I looked for a personable flying school where long after leaving I would still be in contact with many of the team who helped me get to where I am now.

How did you find out about FTA? 

FTA came up on the web search when I was looking for different flight schools.

How important was it to choose an integrated programme that delivered all flight training in the UK?

Out of all the flight schools only FTA offered this. After talking to my father, I realised the greater advantage this would give me. The weather and congested busy airspace greatly improved my skills.

What qualifications did you take and how did you find the course? 

I took the integrated course to get me where I wanted to be as fast as possible. The course itself was really well structured and helped build my confidence and skillset at a comfortable pace.

How long did it take you to complete the FDP at FTA?

The fully integrated Flight Deck Programme took me 19 months to complete with minimal hours.

How long did it take from finishing the course to securing your first interview and your first job offer?

One year. However, when I applied to the company I am with now the process took 3 weeks from interview to Job offer.

How did you hear about the job opportunity with Ryanair? Can you tell us a bit more about your role? 

I heard Ryanair were recruiting during my integrated course through previous students and various pilot recruitment websites. As soon as I had the money for the type rating I applied. My role after completing the type rating is a first officer where I will be part of a multi pilot crew flying half of the sectors and monitoring the other half on a day to day basis.

Can you briefly outline the application/interview process for the role? 

The application was done online and took 2 weeks for the process to start after I submitted it. You start with a telephone conversation making sure you have all the necessary qualifications for the process to continue. After this I was invited to attend an interview day which was made up of a simulator assessment and a technical/HR interview. The simulator assessment tested Generic instrument flying, CRM with your sim partner and your ability to learn.

How long have you been with Ryanair and how are you enjoying the role? 

I started with Ryanair back in November and completed the Type rating in early February. The role is fantastic once you start flying the line. The regular flights help build up the skillset very fast and the repetition helps them stick. Its challenging flying to new airports and regions but its great fun.

Can you describe a ‘typical’ day in your job? 

A typical day starts with getting to the crew room and printing off the flight documents, which consists of the flight plan, weather, notams and voyage report. I then read through this and highlight the relevant information for our flight before presenting this to the Captain when he/she arrives to check as well. Fuel figures are discussed, and then we call up the dispatcher to pass on the details of the flight. We would then brief the cabin crew and make our way to the aircraft to setup for the flight and get the passengers boarded. Once all ready we push back commence the first sector. Either the captain or myself will fly the aircraft to the destination and on the return leg its reversed with the other role being Pilot monitoring. A days flying can be anything from 2 – 6 sectors depending on how long the flights are.

What are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of your job? 

Flying! I get a huge buzz whenever I am on my way to work. The excitement gets bigger when I know its my turn to fly. The most rewarding factor at the moment is when the flight runs on time to destination – its a reflection of the flight decks efficiency.

What are your aviation career goals – what would you like to do in the future? 

My goal right from the beginning is to become a training captain, I have always enjoyed teaching people what I have learnt. If I can one day pass on my knowledge of what I am being taught on the line, then that would be great.

Marcus is now a Senior First Officer - 787 at Norwegian.